John Dietrich Heinz

Army of the United States
16 August 1950 - 23 March 1971
Lincoln, Nebraska
Panel 04W Line 070


Combat Medic

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for John Dietrich Heinz

30 Oct 2002

John Heinz was a student of mine at Southeast High School in Lincoln, Nebraska. Johnny was a nice, polite boy, slight in stature, who loved the army. He was an average student, not a trouble maker in the least, but spent an awful lot of class time reading books about the army, especially WW II. I think that he might have been a better student had he applied the same zeal to regular studies as he did to learning about all aspects of the army. He regularly wore combat boots and fatigues to school. He so identified with his goal to become a soldier.

I saw John on the day of his graduation from high school and congratulated him. I had hoped that he would put off joining the army for college, but he said that he was leaving within a few days for basic training. I lose track of time, but about a year later he came back to visit me and other teachers at Southeast. He announced that he was shortly to be shipped to Viet Nam. He was in full dress uniform for his visit, and obviously proud of the corporal rank that he had achieved. He looked like a million bucks in his spit and polish uniform. He did not seem afraid of his impending tour in Viet Nam, but I think saw it almost as the culmination of his dream, to go into combat in the uniform and service that he was deeply proud of. I know I certainly hope that is the case, because he never finished his tour alive. On March 23, 1971 Johnny was killed.

I think about John regularly and want his parents and family to know that the memory of Johnny Heinz has been with me for the over 30 years since his death. I just wish his life had not been so short. Who knows, he might have been a general today.

a former teacher,
Robert L. Nielsen
E-Mail may be forwarded via the

10 Feb 2007

Sergeant John D. Heinz was my brother. And there was nothing more important to him then his country and to fight for it even when others made fun of him.

Although we were not biological brother and sister, we were very protective of each other, and though we fought I knew no matter what happened to me he was always there and would fight bigger kids for picking on me. No one could have asked for a nicer brother and a loving person.

My family was told that he was killed by a land mind while trying to safe another soldier. So in true incence he died the way he always wanted and that was serving his country.

I want to thank all who have made mention about him and I am glad he touched your heart.

From his sister,
Deb Heinz-Kelly

Visit John Dennison's
Medics on the Wall
memorial which honors the
Army Medics and Navy Corpsmen who died in Vietnam.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his sister,
Deb Heinz-Kelly

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 30 Oct 2002
Last updated 07/12/2007